By Robert Simonson
29 Apr 2003
The cast includes Jayne Atkinson, Molly Ringwald, Elizabeth Ashley, Michael Cumpsty, Patricia Conolly, Dagmara Dominczyk, Daniel Gerroll and Michael Hayden. Michael Wilson, Hartford Stage artistic director, stages the work.
Atkinson will play Lotty, the mousy, cloistered English housewife who, with Ringwald's quirky Rose, another bored wife, embarks on a bold excursion to Tuscany which transforms their dreary existences. Ashley is Mrs. Graves, the prideful matron who joins them.
The show claimed a surprising nine nominations from the Outer Critics Circle, including nods for Best Play and for actors Cumpsty, Atkinson and Gerroll. Also honored were director Michael Wilson, playwright Barber, set designer Tony Straiges, costume designer Jess Goldstein, and lighting designer Rui Rita.
Atkinson was recently seen in Our Town, which closed on Broadway on Jan. 26. Ringwald recently played two praised engagements in Broadway's Cabaret. Before that, she did a stint in Off-Broadway's tick, tick...BOOM! Ashley is known for her lauded turns in Tennessee Williams (she was Tony-nominated for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof). Recently, she was on Broadway in The Best Man.
The adaptation of Elizabeth von Arnim's 1921 novel began previews at Hartford Stage way back on Feb. 24, 2000. The book has been adapted for Broadway before, however, playing the Morosco Theatre in 1925. Kane Campbell wrote that adaptation (the author's sole Broadway credit). It which played a mere 32 performances. Among the stars were Helen Gahagan, the actress turned politician who married Melvyn Douglas and lost the 1960 California Senate race to Richard Nixon.
The novel was made into a 1991 film starring Joan Plowright, Miranda Richardson, Alfred Molina, Josie Lawrence and Polly Walker. The novel had been previously filmed in 1935.
John Gromada is composer and sound designer of the show.
Jeffrey Richards (A Thousand Clowns, Taller Than a Dwarf), Richard Gross, Ellen Berman, Irv Welzer and Fred Vogel produce.
For tickets, call (212) 239- 6200.